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As coordinator of the office of Financial Aid for Service at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which awards more than $1 million dollars annually to students pursuing degrees, Laura Bryan and debt assistance mission specialist Melonee Tubb take joy in what they do.
In a video just released by Presbyterian Mission, Financial Aid for Service is drawing attention to its Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance (TLDA) program. TLDA offers $5,000 loans —with forgiveness for service — to qualifying pastors of churches with 150 or fewer members and to qualifying pastors of new worshiping communities.
After months of effort, and a mandate by the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, a comprehensive grant system has been implemented for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The new processes have been in place since March 1, and are being further described to members of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week.
With more than 400 current participants and upwards of 500 alumni/ae, the Company of New Pastors represents just such a community of care and challenge—a community committed to deepening and sustaining the theological foundation of pastoral leaders.
As a new class of PC(USA) seminary students matriculates this fall, many find themselves entering graduate school not only with great anticipation and an unwavering commitment to serve Christ’s church, but also with unprecedented student loan debt.
When the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board unanimously approved a change in name for the Financial Aid for Studies office to Financial Aid for Service in the fall of 2012, the action signaled an intentional shift in the PC(USA) from an emphasis on education purely for the sake of education to education for a life of discernment and service.